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July 22nd, 2012
03:00 AM ET

Muslim Olympians wrestle with Ramadan dilemma

By Richard Allen Greene and Aroub Abdelhaq, CNN

London (CNN)– Olympic judo competitor Hemeed Al Drie plans to sin during the Games in London, he admits with a grin.

"God is merciful and compassionate, even when our sins are many," said Al Drie, kneeling on a mat while martial artists hurled each other to the floor around him.

Al Drie's sin isn't what you might expect. It's that he is planning to eat and drink while the sun is up during the Olympics, even thought the Games fall smack in the middle of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Observant Muslims are supposed to fast during Ramadan, abstaining from all food and drink, even water, during daylight hours, then eating and drinking after sundown. Fasting for the month is a major religious obligation, one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

But Al Drie, 19, knows that fasting on days when he has up to six judo matches against the world's best competitors would doom his chances of winning.

"If you don't eat and you enter a competition, you might faint," he said. That would lead to instant elimination.

So Al Drie is going to stick to his normal competition diet.

CNN's Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the big stories

"Maybe some people will fast, and that's good for them. But for me, I can't risk losing any of my matches," he said.

Al Drie, who is from the United Arab Emirates, isn't alone in facing the Ramadan dilemma. It's not clear exactly how many Muslim athletes are competing in the Olympics this year, but more than one in five people around the world - about 23% - is Muslim, according to estimates by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

Religious experts in Saudi Arabia determine the starting date of Ramadan each year based on the phase of the moon.

Muslim athletes face a particular challenge because there are so many hours of daylight in London during the Games, says sports nutritionist Hala Barghout.

"It's a 17-hour fast in London. It's not like here in the Middle East," said Barghout, from the United Arab Emirates.

It is "physically impossible" for a world-class athlete to stuff as much food as they need into their body during the seven hours of darkness that remain, she said.

"How much can a person eat in one meal? You can't have, say, 3,000 or 4,000 calories in one meal. You need time to digest," she said. Three thousand calories is the amount that the U.S. government recommends that an active man in his 20s eat in an entire day.

Explain it to me: Ramadan

But one of the leading Islamic religious leaders in the Middle East says Muslims competing in the Olympics should observe the daytime fast, regardless of how it affects their performance.

"Playing sports is not a requirement in Islam. Players become athletes by choice. This optional activity, therefore, does not allow athletes to break their fast," said Ahmed Abdul Aziz Al Haddad, the grand mufti of Dubai.

Muslim athletes must also observe the fast because they are representing Islam at the Olympics, Al Haddad said.

"They must be ambassadors of their faith," he said. "Meaning that Islam must be present in their actions, and they do not fall into anything that Islam forbids."


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Competitors may eat or drink if fasting is threatening their health, he said.
"If a person feels extreme fatigue, sharia allows him to break his fast. Sharia is flexible," he said, using the Arabic word for Islamic law.

"But to immediately break your fast without being hungry or thirsty is the same as submitting to your cravings and lusts, and not putting God's desire before your own," the religious scholar argued.

Not all Muslim authorities agree with Al Haddad.

British Olympic rower Moe - for Mohamed - Sbihi has discussed the problem with his imam, and decided not to fast during the Games.

He plans to feed 1,800 hungry people in Morocco after the Games as compensation for not fasting during the holy month, and will observe a fast later.

"It was a hard decision for me to make," said Sbihi, who was born in Britain to an English mother and Moroccan father.

"When I first started rowing as a youngster, I said that I'd be fasting regardless," he said.

But over time he changed his mind. He did his university dissertation on fasting in sports, and consulted family, friends and coaches in Morocco and Britain before making his decision, he said.

British rower Mohamed 'Mo' Sbihi.

"In the end it felt like I was making the right decision for me, and that's to postpone my fast, to make it up at a later date," he said.

Sbihi has been considering the Ramadan dilemma for years, since it became clear that the 2012 Games would fall during the holy month. They usually don't. The Muslim calendar follows the moon, so Ramadan falls during different seasons in different years.

Members of the London committee organizing the Games this year noted it was not their decision to hold them during Ramadan - the International Olympic Committee sets the date.

The IOC pointed out that the Games "bring together virtually every religion and creed. ... How to deal with religious practices is up to each athlete and his/her personal beliefs."

Sandrine Tonge, a spokeswoman for the IOC, said different countries and individuals deal with the question differently.

"Some countries, like Egypt, for example, issue fatwas exempting athletes from the need to fast when competing," she said, using the Arabic word for a Muslim religious ruling. "At the end, religious practice is a matter for individual conscience."

Interactive: The evolving Olympic athlete

The London organizers pointed out that major international sports events have taken place during Ramadan before, including the Singapore Youth Olympic Games in 2010.

Dining facilities in the Olympic Village will be open 24 hours a day, and athletes observing Ramadan will be able to order "break-of-fast packs that will include water, nutritional bars and fruit," the organizing committee says.

Even with those provisions in place, and with the Games beginning in just days, Khadijah Fahed Mohammed hasn't decided whether she will fast.

The 17-year-old weightlifter is the first woman from the United Arab Emirates ever to qualify for the Games.

Her nutritionist has put together a plan for her to consume 5,000 calories a day - more than twice as much as an active woman her age should normally eat, according the U.S. guidelines.

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She's torn between her obligation to fast and her desire to win.

"Both are important to me. Fasting is a must," she said, even as she recognizes the importance of her first time in the Olympics.

"This is our chance. Ramadan just happened to be at the same time as the competition, so no one knows what to do. Should we fast or not?" she asked.

Her coach says she should.

"Many competitions have taken place during Ramadan," said Nagwan El-Zawawi. "I am not convinced you can break your fast. I mean, fasting is a must. There are no excuses."

But judo competitor Al Drie doesn't believe that.

"God is with me wherever I go, whether I fast or not," he insisted. "The most important thing is to have faith in God and give it your best and thank God, whether you win or lose."

CNN's Christina Macfarlane, Mohammed Jamjoom, Jon Jensen and Nima Elbagir contributed to this report.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Islam • Ramadan • Uncategorized

soundoff (1,052 Responses)
  1. just sayin

    Those God predestined for salvation God knew. We know we belong to Christ. God bless

    July 22, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
  2. sara

    Ahmed Abdul Aziz Al Haddad is a r etard!!!!

    July 22, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
  3. Paul Wilson

    I wake up in the morn thirsty and at 6 a.m., it is already daylight. I mut drink and I have medicines to take. I find thirst & hunger pangs distracting. Islam doesn't even allow drinks of water during the day. Endure the thirst from 6 a,m. to 6 p.m. & beyond ?? I can't live that way !

    July 22, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
  4. TrueBlueCatholic

    Its simple. Just do some J ihad after the olympic games. Go k ill some kaffirs, i.e. infidels. Then the not fasting will be forgiven.

    July 22, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
  5. Unknown

    Non-belief that I could not mow my lawn,killed my grass.Non-belief does a person no good.Its an excuse.That's all atheism is.That means its not logical nor do they use logic and reason.

    July 22, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
  6. Realist

    But Muslims are cool with killing innocent people, assassinating women who "sin", and keeping women uneducated. What a warped religion. Go ahead, drink some water. Your religion failed you first.

    July 22, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Anas

      This religion that you don't understand and mock is the religion you yourself are going to adopt and practice one day in the future, remember your comments and tell your fellow Muslims about it someday.

      July 22, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Realist

      Hahaha, I can't live in a tent and mate with goats. Therefore, no Muslim for me.

      July 22, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Anas, why do you say that?

      July 22, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Burgundy

      And you refer to yourself as 'Realist'?

      July 22, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • Grumpster

      Hey Anus....we're going to defeat you....just wait....you will go down like dogs.

      July 22, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • Anas

      When the day comes that you accept Islam, I hope that you will become one of its strongest protectors. Ramadan Mubarak to you my future brother.

      We don't mate with goats by the way 😉

      July 22, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • Anas

      It's funny how many pople catch on to the similarity between my name and Anus lol. I have seriously been called that by elementary school kids since I was in 3rd grade.

      Grumpster, you very well may get us and kill my family and community like dogs, I hope not but it may very well be the case. Just know that we won't go down without a smile on our face and a hell of a fight 😉

      July 22, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
  7. SarahSarah

    Check your facts- if needed all Muslims can break the Ramadan fast (athletes, pregnant/nursing mothers, police,firefighters,military, doctors to name a few) if possible you are expected to add days at the end of the month for example. No I am not Muslim, but to act like this guy is "sinning" is just incorrect.

    July 22, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
  8. Grumpster

    All hail the Flying Spaghetti Monster's holy ramen noodel-dan. You are to eat copious amounts of pasta all during the olympics and get your carbs up so you can compete. So says the FSM....now obey you mongrels.

    July 22, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Unknown

      Some atheists are just childish ignorant "adults" who don't follow logic or reason.Like you 🙂

      July 22, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
  9. Anas

    It's not that big of a deal. Muslims can break their fast while traveling and that isn't considered a sin. As long as no Olympian's home town is the local Olympics venue, they can break their fast and make it up later. This article really distorts the truth about what is permissible under Islamic Law.

    July 22, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
  10. achepotlex

    Islam is a religion of peas.

    July 22, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      And carrots.

      July 22, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      And sauce. Don't forget the sauce.

      July 22, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • dre

      pork bbq sauce

      July 22, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
  11. cytan

    If he was a female he would be either beheaded or jailed for 20 years. Fact.

    July 22, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • 4 hands working together accomplish more than a 1000 clasped in prayer

      Fact. I like to say *fact* before and after everything I say. It makes it true. The moon is made of green cheese. Fact.

      July 22, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • vancouverron

      Fact. This is not a fact. Fact.

      July 22, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
  12. Voice of Reason

    Making these incredible athletes feel less than what they are is psychological abuse. These kids have trained hard yet you have some idiot telling them to feel guilty for not fasting.
    I say don't fast, take in the carbs and do the best you can. Don't listen to people that make you feel uncomfortable, they are not decent humans.

    July 22, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
  13. Richard Klein

    The people planning for the Olympics should have recognized the importance of Ramadan. As an American of the Jewish faith, I feel that the Olympics should have been scheduled for a different time. Ramadan is a very important month for Muslems, and the Olympic Committee should have taken the timing into consideration. I admire those individuals who keep their faith and who want to participate in peaceful athletics.

    July 22, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      You are totally out of your mind.

      July 22, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • monae75

      I am not a Muslim and I totally agree with you.

      July 22, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      The Summer games are always at the same time. They are not "scheduled". Get a grip. Any flake can make up a god, and say, "not that week", the Flying Spaghetti Monster's birthday from the virgin wh'ore squirrel is that week.

      July 22, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • ELH

      The world is not equipped to be all things to all people. Into each life a little rain must fall. I suggest you watch "Chariots of Fire" and see how one devout athlete was able to solve his dilemma without requiring the IOC to change the playing field for everyone else.

      July 22, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • mr280zxt

      As a non-practicing secular muslim, I take my hats off to you my Jewish brother....

      July 22, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Richard Klein

      Islam operates on the 'lunar' calendar and is 11 days earlier each year. Unfortunately, things don't get rescheduled around everybody's religious calendar of events.

      Peace...

      July 22, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • T1Brit

      Why not go all the way and ban music and alcohol and make all women wear the veil for the olympics too.
      We must bend over as far as we can to avoid upsetting Muslims. Come on, you can do it – BEND OVER

      July 22, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • Realist

      Well, the athletes are allowed to drink and eat. This article is poorly researched. Besides, why reschedule the Olympics for one religion? Olympic participation is not mandatory anyhow.

      July 22, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • dre

      As a fellow American of the Jewish faith, I call your BS and raise it one big hatred of the smelly, bomb wielding, psychopathic retarded cult called islam.

      July 22, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  14. AGuest9

    That's OK. He should go to ChikFilA. The fundamentalist extremists need to stick together, right?

    July 22, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
  15. Just saying

    Oh well...It is hilarious that people called each other names and fought over whose God is right. It is called FAITH and none of us know 100% sure about it. Some will say, no I know 100% sure about this and that. But the reality of it, there is no way they can be 100% sure about it. None of us live during Jesus or Muhammad time. What we have is what is written down by other who lived years and years before us. Also, all of us are still alive and not dead yet to find out whether there is God or not. We all gamble by choosing which faith we want to follow. Just chill, love each other, help each other, be good to each other. I am sure no matter which God you choose, if you do those all will be ok. And if you do not believe in God, if you do those, you will benefit humankind. Peace to all!!

    July 22, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      You're just going to die, that's it, no faith needed.

      July 22, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Just saying

      Not believe in God is a FAITH too. You have not died yet, hence it is impossible to say "that's it" since you have not experience it yet.

      July 22, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Just saying

      Prove differently.

      July 22, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Just saying

      I can not. That is why I called it "FAITH".

      July 22, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Just saying

      Hi Just saying...

      You Said: " But the reality of it, there is no way they can be 100% sure about it."

      True, IMO.

      You Said: "Also, all of us are still alive and not dead yet to find out whether there is God or not. We all gamble by choosing which faith we want to follow."

      First part is true, IMO... second part, how is it a "gamble" ? Gamble here in life ? After death... 'if'... there is some kind of existence ?

      You Said: " Just chill, love each other, help each other, be good to each other."

      I like this... regardless if you are a 'believer' or not.

      You Said: "I am sure no matter which God you choose, if you do those all will be ok. And if you do not believe in God, if you do those, you will benefit humankind."

      If we 'all' do those things you mentioned, whether 'believer' or non-believer, (we) 'all) will benefit humankind, regardless if there actually turns out to be some kind of god or not.

      You Said: " Peace to all!!"

      O.K... I want some dinero every time you use my 'moniker' 🙂

      Peace...

      July 22, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • Just saying

      @Peace2All:
      It is an after death gamble. I am not risk taker, so I choose to believe in God. If there is no God, at least I have done good deeds that benefit me and others on Earth (studies indicated that doing goods are good for you). But if there is God, at least I am covered. Do not know that I have to pay royalty to say peace to all:)))) .

      July 22, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • 4 hands working together accomplish more than a 1000 clasped in prayer

      One does not "choose to believe in god". Faith is a capriciously granted gift of the spirit. Have you never read any theology. You either really do believe, or you don't. If you actually believe, you have not "chosen" it, if you don't and say you do, you are a liar. I see you have a dumb god who is unaware of what you're up to.

      July 22, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Just saying

      Hi -Just saying...

      So... O.K... what you are demonstrating is a version of 'Pascal's Wager.' Betting on that 'if' there is a life after death... and that's a big if, you are 'a-s-s-uming' that if there is a god, that it automatically be... 'your way,' or at a higher level... somehow everything is o.k. for you.

      Even if there is a life after death, it could be an infinite number of scenarios, and some that you may not like.

      So... do good, love others, etc... now, regardless whether there is or isn't, yes...?

      And, oh... yep... gotta' pay the royalties to me. Had the moniker since the inception of the Belief Blog. 😀

      Peace...

      July 22, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • just sayin

      God has given those predestined for salvation a personal relationship with Him. We know without doubt who God is and that we are His. God bless

      July 22, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  16. sabrina

    m

    July 22, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  17. sabrina

    attacking a peaceful religion you dont know nothing about, its a shame!!

    July 22, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Hey sabby! Enlighten us will ya?

      July 22, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • wobbles

      tell the millions the members of that religion have killed over the years about how "peaceful" they are. The rest of us who don't care to number among the victims of this cult aren't buying it.

      July 22, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • AGuest9

      The next time children are blown up in a marketplace, I'll remind myself how peaceful of a religion it is.

      July 22, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • hbockoven

      Peaceful religion? Yes us Christians have had our problems. The crusades, but that has been ended. The occasional nut who kills an abortion doctor, and we no not support that at all. When was the last time a Christian stoned to death an adulterer? But we don't want to cut off the heads of non-believers of God. We don't want to kill those who speak against or use the Lords name in vain...But your religion does. There is nothing peaceful in your religion. We accept people into ours who had different beliefs, you kill them and treat your women worse than livestock.

      July 22, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • B33TLE

      "...you don't know nothing about..."? If you want to be taken seriously, use correct grammar.

      July 22, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • T1Brit

      IIslam is a religion of peace and if you say different we'll cut your head off

      July 22, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
  18. The Boss

    There are people commenting about a religion that is not even their religion.Sports is just sports.Its not the beginning of life and surely not the end of Life.I feel bad that Olympics fall on our Holy month but that piece of tin is not worth all Allah does for us.Its a no-brainer.Fast because of Allah do for you or you are the same as an unbeliever!!!!!!

    July 22, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • truthordare7

      Maybe they should just convert to another religion like Christainity to avoid it altogether. Or become atheist. Say, what is the penalty for apostasy in Islam?

      July 22, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • 4 hands working together accomplish more than a 1000 clasped in prayer

      You have to sit in the naughty chair for about 10 billion years.

      July 22, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • TheDoood

      Why waste your life training for the Olympics and then throw all the effort away fasting? What I can't stand is one person telling another "You MUST do this.......You MUST do that". If religion is important to you, then so be it. But nobody has a right to determine/decide what others should be doing or believing.

      July 22, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @TheDoood

      There will always be some knucklehead that will tell you that you are doing something against a god. F'em

      July 22, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Unknown

      Atheists on this forum are very delusional.They think they know a religion but its all lies.Its lies to make themselves feel better.

      July 22, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  19. Voice of Reason

    If you have to believe in an afterlife which one would you pick?

    1. Having your own planet to rule with your wife
    2. Being in the presence of the lord your savior for eternity
    3. Having a bunch of virgins at your disposal

    July 22, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      3, most definitely.

      July 22, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Can we do a time-share deal?

      July 22, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Voice of Reason

      If you have to believe in an afterlife which one would you pick?

      1. Having your own planet to rule with your wife
      2. Being in the presence of the lord your savior for eternity
      3. Having a bunch of virgins at your disposal

      I choose 2 !

      July 22, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Hey b4!

      Please tell me how that will be?

      July 22, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Now that makes sense! Time sharing the afterlife in varied environments, you could have it all! Power, se*x and forgiveness.

      July 22, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Obamabus

      Well, ruling an entire planet seems kinda like a hassle. I don't want a bunch of virgins; I want some women who know what they're doing 😉 so I guess I'll go with #2

      July 22, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Obamabus

      Boring....

      July 22, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Obamabus

      Not very imaginative, are you?

      July 22, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Can the virgins cook? Can any of them make Greek souvlaki? How do they look.... Also, the joke, ..they are all female right?

      July 22, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Shahriarzadeh

      Islam promised all three of those for me in the Afterlife, That's why i am a Muslim 🙂

      July 22, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • AGuest9

      The truth is that there is no such thing as an "afterlife". That's why I laugh at these "ministers" who promise you anything of the sort.

      July 22, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      How is being in the prescence of the Lord?
      Great!

      July 22, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @b4bigbang
      "How is being in the prescence of the Lord?
      Great!"

      How so?

      July 22, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      I could describe it, but i think it would be unwise to do so at this time.

      July 22, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      I would be quite willing to discuss theology with you however.....

      July 22, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @b4bigbang

      Why do you think it would be unwise for you to share your information? I ask politely that you use layman terms and not some ancient babble, thank you very much!

      July 22, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Because it's a holy, personal thing. I could give a couple of general descriptions that are present in a lot of hymns, (eg, "peace, sweet peace"), and that's a common feeling all born-again Christians have while in the Spirit, but I can't go deeper into greater detail with you regarding special experiences.

      I hope you're ok with my answer, and i do appreciated your politeness, so please forgive my reticence regarding relating the deeper things of the Spirit.

      You really do have to experience it yourself to understand.

      July 22, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @b4bigbang

      Is it possible that being in the spirit is just that? Meaning, feeling a certain way, out of the ordinary and in a real good way? Is it possible that the good feeling you are experiencing is a chemical reaction involving dopamine? Is it possible that the feeling is something you go after and you finally find it?

      July 22, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      It may be that God uses the dopamine receptors as a tool like he uses everything else in nature that he designed, but there's far more to being in the presence of the Lord than a mere feeling.

      There're things witnessed that cannot be explained away, at least not in a way that neatly tucks everything in, folds it up and demonstrates that there's nothing behind it other than false conclusions derived from brain functions.

      I realize that's where you're coming from, hence my reason for not going into detail re my experiences.

      After all, if an existentialist was chatting with me, we could go round and round for days, and it would quickly become a drag for myself, and possible for him as well.

      July 22, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • Number4

      I would choose 3, but then they wouldn't be virgins after a few days. What then? Would you have to live with those chicks for eternity?

      July 22, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Obamabus

      @Voice of Reason...perhaps if this same post (with very little deviation) weren't issued on every single article remotely related to religious beliefs, you'd receive a more original response. Humorless atheists aren't very fun.

      July 22, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Obamabus

      Please, tell me what fun is when it comes to the truth?

      July 22, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
  20. sean

    ex-muslim and mork – their is no reason to hate religion. Just because you have had experiences that seem to make you rage on websites doesnt mean that everyone is wrong but you. My post, I thought people might find amusing, I did not mean to make you red-faced on a Sunday afternoon. Get some fresh air and enjoy life.

    July 22, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      There are plenty of reasons why you should hate religion.

      July 22, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • truthordare7

      Maybe you should get out more often yourself and see what religion does to countries which have to live under dogmatic belief systems, especially to women, and religious minorities. This rosy glasses that you are looking through doesn't change the evil things in this world.

      July 22, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      There are horrors and atrocities at the same time do you wish us of Faith to forget all of the good folks like Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa and leaders such as Rev Martin Luther King did with their Faith and principles. While you are asking folks to take off rose colored glasses all you offer are glasses tinted with hatred.

      July 22, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      The only religion I accept as valid is the New Testament definition of the type that God approves:

      "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." – James 1:27

      July 22, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.